Yes, after much angst, a bit of traditional drama, some tears and a lot of excitement, we launched our second group anthology. There was cake (which we forgot to eat). And there were speeches (mercifully short). And excellent readings by three of the authors.
Many people came. So many they couldn't all fit in the room and had to stand outside looking longingly in at the people in chairs.
All of the authors worked incredibly hard on their stories, on marketing, and on supporting each other. And the group members who weren't in this anthology put in a massive effort toward helping the book fly free as well.
Suffice to say we are all very proud of each other and of the fine anthology that resulted.
So proud, that we've immediately waded into the pond of doubt that is the Next Anthology.
Watch this space for updates about the next Thing.
When we meet each month, the SWG like to have a theme to discuss. Well, to be honest, someone picks a theme and we're all forced to go and research and...you know...actually learn things about this writing stuff we do.
June 2019 was all about Literary Devices.
(One of our members admitted she initially thought we meant some sort of e-reader.)
Ideas that were tabled included: (there were others, but I'm damned if I can remember all of them at this time of night)
Metaphors and similes - ok, those are two, but people often get them mixed up, anyway. (haha see what I did there? Mixed metaphors? Oh, alright. I'll stop.) To put it succinctly: Simile is where you compare one thing directly to another: Her hair was like cornsilk. Her eyes were as blue as the ocean. Metaphors are where you take out the comparison and just state one thing IS another. Her hair was cornsilk. Her eyes were the ocean. The latter (although not the world's most brilliant metaphors) leaves more to the reader's imagination and conveys a potentially more interesting image.
Foreshadowing - hinting at things to come. Skillful foreshadowing lays the groundwork for satisfying plot twists and reveals so the reader can look back and go: Oh! I should have seen that coming. A lack of foreshadowing often leads to a feeling of deus ex machina when a plot twist or resolution seems to come out of nowhere. Foreshadowing is often accompanied by red herrings and misdirection - just so it's not too easy for the reader to see what's coming.
Irony - three kinds of irony, in fact. Verbal (saying one thing and meaning the opposite). Great for snappy, dry dialogue. Situational (eg: a husband goes to great extent to arrange an anniversary party for his wife, only to discover their anniversary is next week). Great for either tragic or humorous situations. Dramatic Irony (when the reader knows more about what's happening than the character does). Excellent for creating tension as they reader waits for the character to find out the bad/good news.
Symbolism - when a writer uses one thing—usually a physical object or phenomenon—to represent something more abstract. The mockingbird in To Kill a Mockingbird is a good example - a symbol of innocence and beauty. It can be a powerful thing to subtly interweave through a story, especially if the writer can tie it tightly to the theme.
There were more. It was an excellent meeting. We may need to do another on Literary devices to cover some of the more unusual ones that people didn't find during their quick Google search just before they rushed out to the meeting. (*looks guiltily away*)